Disclaimer: I think Squarespace provides an excellent service and I don't hate them!
So there has been a lot of hype recently surrounding the service Squarespace recently. And I read an article in .NET which was an interview with the founder, but when I finished reading I realized that I disagreed with some of the points he raised in the interview. So basically the people behind Squarespace think that the future is them, that is, people won't go to services such as WordPress and Drupal to create their sites, instead relying on their excellent technology. And this is where I disagree.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm told that Squarespace is a fantastic service, but at the end of the day it is lacking in a number of things. Firstly what's with he lack of themes? I mean it's all very well and good either being a noob and just using a default template, but what happens when someone wants to create something totally different? Now I know that their examples page features an array of interesting sites that look professional, but I think the lack of some sort of theme marketplace is a terrible missed opportunity. On top of this, although they boast the up most customization, you are still restricted to a grid system, and despite what many say, when I visit a website I can, in most cases, instantly tell if it is powered by Squarespace.
But the thing which annoys me the most is this. If they are to take over the blogging world and replace WordPress, are they going to stay on their own hosting? Because if they do, then they're just plain stupid. Their best package has a monthly bandwidth limit of 400GB. Now to put this into perspective let me show you some stats from a popular web design blog - Spoon Graphics - which is really fantastic, has a monthly bandwidth of 940GB. So that's the $50/month package out of the window.
One way in which the service does excel is when it comes to comparing it to similar services, i.e. WordPress.com and Blogger. There's no denying that the guys have done a fantastic job on the who visual editor and I think the design is really slick. But to be quite honest I feel that the claim that they will soon be ubiquitous is outrageous.
So just to finish, let's create a simple situation. You want a blog, and in our case there are two solution. Number one, Squarespace, and number two WordPress self-hosted.
$600 for 5GB storage and 400GB bandwidth. Great. You can then edit the theme as you choose.
$240 for hosting + $32 for a really cool theme from ThemeForest, and WordPress is a free download. And we'll add $100 to account for the setup time just to be nice. That's $372. And you get to customize every aspect of everything ever anywhere 🙂 Obviously you have to know code, but if you've got a cool enough theme, you should be alright.
I know which one I'm going to pick, every time.
How about you? Have you had a really go experience with Squarespace? I'm genuinely interested to know.